Learning feels good most of the time, right?
I love to learn (I ought to, I have spent half my life learning).
It feels good to know, to be intrigued, to be curious. It also makes us feel like we’re doing something.
Which, we are, unless we’re learning and reading and consuming information about something (like weight loss or changing a habit) that eventually requires us to take action. C’mon, if you’ve been reading, you knew where I was going.
We need to take what we have learned, interpret it for ourselves and then apply it to our lives. Wah, wah, wah…
This is a big place where I see people get stuck (don’t worry, it takes one to know one, I’ve spent plenty of time in stuck-city myself).
It’s so easy to get stuck in the consuming phase.
The reading, learning, gathering information phase.
All under the guise of “learning”.
But at some point, we have to take that first step to applying all of it. And I can tell ya, no amount of learning is going to outweigh the learning of real life experience.
I was thinking about this while running earlier today.
I spent years consuming and learning information, about self-help, about weight loss, about life.
But it was so cozy there, and it felt so productive to keep reading and learning. Like wrapping myself up in a blanket of knowledge.
Then I had that “awww crap” moment (most likely from one of those learning tools). I actually had to do something. Nothing would change if I didn’t take any action.
And it scared the crap out of me. The unknown? To actually take action? Oh geez. Yeah, those warm and fuzzy “this is easy” books left that part out. Dang it.
So I started to take action. Again and again.
And some lessons I had to learn the hard way (by doing), multiple times.
There is a saying that you will continue to be presented with situations, challenges, etc in your life until you learn the lesson that you need to continue to move forward.
Well let me tell you – this was very true on my food journey. I was a champion of overeating. And stuffing myself until my stomach hurt. Of feeding an upset stomach (with carbs and sugary baked goods or ice cream or whatever sounded palatable at that time) and wondering why it got more upset, or why I couldn’t lose the weight that week. Or why I couldn’t eat the same way and lose my weight.
I beat myself up over it. I joked about it (duh, this is why I can’t lose weight… must be genetics… believe me, I had every excuse in the book).
I minimized it. Until one day, something shifted. I started seeing what I was doing for what it was – making excuses.
Because of what I was telling myself. It was all up to me! Those freaking books had been right all along. All that corny, woo-woo, blah blah blah, the power is “within you”… It was true. And my refusal to accept it was holding me back.
Well. That took a while to wrap my head around. But then I started to embrace it. And change my actions to be more in line with all of that learning. And things started shifting! The weight started coming off. And, since then, I have lost all of the weight. I reached my goal (30 lb total). I can maintain it easily now. I don’t worry about it.
Of course I challenge myself to continue to grow and evolve (I like a challenge, what can I say).
Now I teach other people how to find where they are stuck and help them move through it to the body and the life they love.
I know it can take time and I truly believe that everyone has their own path of growth. You may not be ready now. You may still be in your gathering and learning phase.
What I have learned is how to take that knowledge you are gathering and apply it to get to your goal.
To use it to be confident, to feel comfortable in who you are and sexy and awesome in your body. It just takes being open to changing.
You don’t have to fully believe it can happen when you start – you only have to believe it is possible.
I encourage you to ask yourself and check in. Are you learning and consuming or are you taking action toward your goal? It is easy to go down the learning path and feel like we’re changing when we’re really just consuming. It’s okay to learn and apply along the way. Just don’t forget to keep learning by doing. That is where the greatest progress is made.
You’ve got this, my friend. Go out there and believe in your possibility. Believe in yourself. I believe you can do it. If I can, everyone can too.